Title

Chemistry Infographics: Experimenting with Creativity and Information Literacy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

Incorporating creative assignments and information literacy practice directly into the science curriculum has many benefits. These types of assignments can improve student perception of the relevance of science information literacy, increase overall engagement in general science curricula, and improve learning outcomes overall. In this project, students in a sophomore analytical chemistry course were instructed to create infographics explaining a chemical reaction of their choice to a general audience. The primary goals for this assignment were to provide students an opportunity to practice information literacy, creativity, and communication skills and to improve their understanding of specific chemistry content. A variety of instruction and activities were designed to help students reach these goals. We are still exploring methods of assessment, which have so far included both peer and instructor review of the infographic using a rubric, as well as more traditional assessments covering chemistry content and basic information literacy skills. Although our results thus far are mainly qualitative, we have observed that the majority of students demonstrate basic competency in information literacy and communication skills at the end of this assignment, and we have some evidence of increased engagement overall. We were also very interested to observe that many of the students who produced outstanding infographics were not top performers on traditional assessments like summative exams. This outcome suggests that this type of assignment might disproportionately benefit students that struggle with more traditional instruction and assessment methods, and we plan to explore this possibility more formally in future iterations of this assignment.

Comments

Liberal Arts Strategies for the Chemistry Classroom is volume 1266 of the ACS Symposium Series.

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